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Thumb kits?

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by Vetech63, May 19, 2019.

  1. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    I have installed a few over the years. A customer called me Friday and wants a price on a complete kit (installed) for a Komatsu PC210LC-10. I have never actually purchased one and have no idea which is a good brand. Any suggestions from you operators?
     
  2. Fourtencustoms

    Fourtencustoms Well-Known Member

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    Im totally new here but I have been in the market for a hydraulic setup for my Takeuchi (has manual thumb now)

    People really seem to like these kits:

    https://www.miniexcavatorthumbs.com/

    only in this day and age would there be a website already dedicated to just this!!
    good prices too
     
  3. funwithfuel

    funwithfuel Senior Member

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    Will county Illinois
    The dealer I work for sells and installs HKS on their komatsu excavators. I have no idea on cost. I understand the kits are machine specific and have very clear instructions for installing both plumbing and electrical.
     
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  4. Tuck66

    Tuck66 Active Member

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    My 2 cents worth..Manual cheaper & better.
    I currently have hyd.on my case 590...my last 3 machines..JD690, Case 580 & Ford 420...all had manual thumbs. Which when not in use, I could pull the ..stiff leg out, then with same pin..it would lock nicely outa way.
    I also run Cat 320 & Volvo 120 with hyd. & find the thumb never is in right spot.
    I actually prefer the ,,Manual thumb.to hyd. From beer cans to wicked large stumps...can lift & move them all. 100% stationary with no movement.I built 2 of them myself, with used steel crops, and few hrs of weldin.My current hyd thumb complete with hyd plumbing and special.valves was close to 3grand , 12 years ago. I really find the relief valve doesn't allow me to work the hyd as hard as the stationary style.I do understand it must , so you dont bent cyclinders.

    Good luck on your choices.
     
    Vetech63 likes this.
  5. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    I, personally, Tend to agree with this. For the cost of the kit and the installation it just makes sense to use a mechanical/manual thumb...………….but I am NO operator!
     
    Tuck66 likes this.
  6. Fourtencustoms

    Fourtencustoms Well-Known Member

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    My Takeuchi came with a manual thumb, i am able to make it work out really well 90% of the time.....the ONLY time I would like to have the powered thumb is when grabbing slash and small trees. Otherwise I can see the manual is all most would ever need. For me this machine is basically going to dig and when its not digging it will be moving piles of slash and small trees so if I get an extra $800 to play with I may see about adding the hydraulics, it is not high on my priority list...
    Without the manual thumb I would be pissed at trying to pick things up without digging huge holes underneath the object
    No thumb sucks!
     
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  7. rondig

    rondig Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    fort macleod alberta
    Manual thumb is ok if you seldom use and dont have to change swing radius much....we will place and load rocks we have to constantly move thumb and bucket to get right angles...fix thumb cant do that .
     
  8. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    HKX makes a good kit that works well for those who have never installed a thumb before. Both the local Cat and Komatsu and probably the Deere dealers use them. It makes the project relatively easy.
    I installed hydraulic thumbs years ago when I had a shop. I had a local hydraulic supplier where I could get all the components and built all the brackets and controls in house. Back the it was about $3,000 for the hydraulics and control package installed and the customer supplied the thumb, links and cylinder base bracket which I also installed. I'm sure it would be at least twice that today for the same job.
     
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  9. funwithfuel

    funwithfuel Senior Member

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    HKX, I misspoke/ misspelled. Sorry.
     
  10. farmerlund

    farmerlund Senior Member

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    solesbees.com/
    I don't think you said what your customer is planning on using it for. I have had both setups mechanical and a full hyd. I do a lot of demo and trees and the hyd thumb is the only way to go. I presently have a Solesbee Hyd on my 210 and it is great. Mine is mounted to the bucket pin. I love the setup I have now.
    A couple of tips to make it nicer, make sure the thumb tines and bucked teeth intermesh, also get a thumb with curved tines at the end. A mechanical thumb is fine for part time use or if he is on a budget.
    [​IMG]Solesbee is probably not the cheapest. but they make a very good product. If I cant break it they must be good. :D
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  11. Fourtencustoms

    Fourtencustoms Well-Known Member

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    nice! on the bucket pin that's a nice setup.

    So for my takeuchi TB035 that came with a manual thumb is there anyway to convert it to hydro easily?
    I mean it seems I just need to add the cylinder with the correct stroke, weld up the brackets for this and add the hydraulic hoses?

    /hijack
     
  12. Tuck66

    Tuck66 Active Member

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    My purchased hyd thumb is also hinge from bucket pin, actually ,my thoughts....not nice :(
    Worse machine ever to change buckets. Tite clearances, & thumb not "lockable",takes 2-3 ppl to change bucket.try alignment reinstall just sucks.
    I've seen 2 ppl do their own hyd thumb.With no assistance, they completed the job, & made the nicest looking yard art ,specialty curved ,hyd cyls.lol
    I'm thinking your set up to add hyd cyl. Usually can be done.Little tricky sometimes plumbing & routing both hyd lines.Dont forget your relief. Electric over hyd is also nice for valve too.Welding is also special to avoid further cracks.Little homework & assistance you can do anything:)
    Cheers :)
     
  13. Tuck66

    Tuck66 Active Member

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    Curious, do you have any xtra valve functions..? My bud has foot pedal valve to "off-set" adjust his boom.He added a "special splitter valve, a check, & few fittings. Then plumbed his hyd cylinder from that.Can switch back forth either function anytime easy. Was real faster & cheaper job for him.works awesome too.
     
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  14. Tugger2

    Tugger2 Senior Member

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    The thumb needs to be a button for your thumb to operate.You have 2 feet for travel and 2 hands for functions ,that 3 rd pedal for a thumb is a P.T.A. ive found that on rental machines that were set up that way. The bucket pin is the only way to pivot otherwise your grinding or dropping stuff . Following linkage on your cylinder is deluxe but more expensive . Your thumb will follow the bucket from closed to open as opposed to direct connected thumb cyl. which stops part way out. Make sure the cylinder is cushioned on both ends ,one less thing to pay attention to if your busy sorting brush and stumps or demo waste. The relief valve is important ,set so the bucket can over come the thumb.
    I built a lot of thumb kits ,back when Hitachi made UH045 s UH 09 s 172 s 181 s ect , Cats were 235 s 245 s in other words a long time ago, but the concept is still the same. There werent many hoes with out hydraulic thumbs around here even back then.

     
  15. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    I am contacting the customer today to get a little more info on what his plans are for use of this. Its a shale pit operation so I have no idea why he wants it.
     
  16. Batkom

    Batkom Well-Known Member

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    Check out Amulet thumbs, I had one on my previous machine - the linkage type, very nice and very well made, seems to be first choice in our area.
     
    tpitt likes this.
  17. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    The customer wants a full hydraulic thumb. I went to look at the machine he wants it on and it has nothing for aux hydraulic so it would be a full install. He also wants thumb control off of buttons on the right handle which currently has none. Seems like this is going to be a pretty expensive rigging.
     
  18. Tugger2

    Tugger2 Senior Member

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    https://www.sealum.com/

    This company is a good source of cylinders and control valves if you are starting from scratch on a machine with no auxillary system.
     
  19. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    These seem to be the most used joy stick handles in the industry for the past ten years.

    https://www.suregripcontrols.com

    I used to use the rocker switches year ago because they were cheap and easy to fix. Now every brand of excavator I look at has the Sure Grips. They have about ever configuration you can think of.
     
  20. Tuck66

    Tuck66 Active Member

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    Well,,,, customer is always right..& long as they are willing to spend $,, is gr8 for you.:)
    Please update with progress & pics as you go ahead.
    Also, for thoughts.. , I run 3 different style buckets, mostly the digging - with teeth. I had to modify my thumb a bit, as it was orginally set up for clean-up. . So curious, does your customers run different buckets?